Outdoor play

As the weather starts to cool (hey there, September) we are aware that the clock is ticking on the days of easy outdoor play. The girls and their friends have been remarkably good about getting together with friends outside but that is going to be more difficult as the season changes.

Caroline and her friends have converted our driveway and garage into a hangout space (including in light rain although when it started to pour, it was time to go home). Hannah and her friends took over our deck for lunch and board games. They both use the backyard to spread out for meals and snacks.

Throughout all of this they are all wearing masks (except when eating) and they are so good about following the rules. Bathroom breaks usually require a quick trip home (although we’ve certainly allowed friends to use our bathroom when its urgent). This has worked great during the summer. But as we head into fall and then winter we’re going to have to figure out new plans. It’s made trickier because it’s not just us setting rules but the parents of the girls’ friends too. We need to have start open discussions about comfort level and risk tolerance.

Some ideas for continuing to follow the guidelines during colder temperatures:

  • Bundle up – these are hearty New England kids and with enough layers they can be outside in chilly temperatures (and masks keep your face warm)
  • Allow limited indoor play – we could allow them to be inside if we can limit the group size. This wouldn’t quite be expanding our quarantine circle because we would still have them wear masks, but it’s a bigger step than what we’ve done so far
  • Find heated outdoor spaces – anyone own a warehouse we can borrow for the winter?

It’s going to be tricky but in the same way that we’ve all figured things out as we go so far, as long as we are open and clear with the girls and their friends’ families we’ll manage to sort it out.

Legos and Slime ingredients are key for a hangout space
Socially-distanced lunch time

Things that went well this week:

  • Each week we get more information about school which helps us plan for the fall – although the 7:45am middle school start time will be a big change for Hannah’s sleep routine
  • I was really impressed with how the NBA handled the situation after the killing of Jacob Blake – a players-led walkout and then league-wide discussions focused on how to best use their platform to keep the conversation focused on social justice
  • The weather has felt like fall with crisper mornings and sunny days

Things that did not go well:

  • Both girls are injured, Caroline’s wrist and Hannah’s ankle are both in braces after lingering injuries are not improving – although x-rays showed nothing broken
  • Total world-wide COVID cases topped 26 million and US cases are over 6 million – with large outbreaks in Spain, India, and at US universities
  • If I ever think that the president can’t get worse, every week he is more horrible – this week it was his support for the kid who killed protesters which will inevitably lead to more white nationalist vigilantism

Random happy find from the web:

  • Even though the summer was completely different this photo collection shows some of the joy and beauty despite a pandemic

Cute puppy photo of the week:

Daisy wishes she had an ice pack and a device too

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